I’m frequently asked to issue press releases and public commentary on a variety of topics. Just this week I’ve been interviewed by or spoken to 4 media people — one of which was a reporter for the Washington Times. Today, I was asked to offer a comment on a local issue wherein a prominent local politician and evangelical Christian, often known to rather strident, made a statement in a publicly-circulated email that part of the problem with low-performing urban schools in Charlotte was related to the “moral sewer” in the black urban community. His comments have been roundly criticized by Republicans and Democrats alike and it now appears that the story is growing “legs” and who knows how big the firestorm will grow.
Because I am rarely fully-quoted when interviewed or I issue a press release, I have decided to issue the complete text of my comments to the Charlotte Observer on the matter. You will find them below:
American politics, for better and for worse, has long had figures who enjoy using a tactic of hurling the occasional verbal bombshell into the fray in order to provoke a debate. Newt Gingrich and Bill James often appear to be equally blessed with the proclivity, (some might argue penchant), for using less-than-graceful verbiage in order to garner attention toward an underlying reality. At the core of Bill James’ ineloquent declaration is a reality that must not be over-looked — Moral decay produces negative societal ramifications. Every community, regardless of race, locale or socio-economic status, needs to take an honest look at the statistics and consequences related to their behavior and accept the challenge to do better. I hope that such a discussion will not be ignored once the debate over Mr. James’ comments has died down. I would not have phrased my concern as Mr. James phrased it, but I believe a debate on the societal implications of immoral behavior and dysfunctional families is long over-due and it has nothing to do with race and everything to do with morality and behavior.
Dan Burrell, Ed.D.
Northside Baptist Church, Senior Pastor